While I know that Halloween is another week away, I think that it is important to touch on the subject of health and safety during trick or treating and other festivities with your children before you send them on their way.
At CHS, an extremely huge part of our early education and childcare services is health and nutrition, so we’re going to run through some tips for keeping the sugar at a manageable level and making sure that your children are engaging in safe trick-or-treating practices so that you have the next week to discuss these with them at length.
- Maybe skip out on the bobbing for apples tradition. There are tons of other ways to implement the Halloween spirit into games and parties, but you don’t need to throw in the risk of transmitting illness, especially during flu season. Unfortunately, an apple a day does not necessarily keep the doctor away, so that take into consideration.
- Make sure your children are throwing out and NOT eating candies or products that are not commercially wrapped. Yes, it’s a nice touch for someone to hand out homemade goods, but remind your child that these people are strangers and you have literally no idea what’s in them. This is especially vital if your child has food allergies.
- Don’t leave this one up to your child. Inspect the candy before they eat it to make sure there are no signs of tampering on the packaging. We like to think the best of people, particularly when children are involved, but better safe than sorry and when in doubt, throw it out. They won’t miss 3 pieces of candy out of over 100 and worst case, buy them new candy that you know is safe.
- Affix reflectors or reflective tape to your child’s costume and/or candy bag so that cars/bikes can see them in the dark. Even on Halloween, there are some frights we can do without and an encounter with a moving car is one of those.
- Talk to your child about not eating their candy while they trick-or-treat. Feed them a good dinner before they go out so they are less tempted to snack and that way you can check all of it before they dig in. Also make sure they stay hydrated!!!!
- Divvy the candy up into snack bag portions/throw some out so that they don’t overdo it when they do go to eat it. Too much sugar will make them hyper and unable to sleep and can also make them sick, which is something to keep in mind. Stomach aches can ruin Halloween.
- Either escort your children or make sure that they are with another adult or a group of trustworthy friends. They should never go out there alone and definitely make sure that they don’t enter anyone’s houses while trick or treating, even if invited in.
- Make sure the costumes aren’t a safety hazard. Make sure they can see clearly AND breathe normally in any masks, test makeup on a small patch of skin for reactions before applying it everywhere and hem costumes that might cause your child to trip over them.
- Try to just completely avoid weapon-like accessories with costumes. If you find they are an absolute must, make sure they are flexible and soft so they can’t accidentally hurt anyone, including your child.
- Finally, candy is always fun, I understand considering that I eat it too. However, if you are throwing a party of your own, try to serve some healthy snacks and drinks, i.e. fruit-infused water in place of soda. Get creative with it and people will be just as excited, plus they won’t have a sugar crash or feel sick later.
Take all of these tips into account and think of other things that maybe weren’t included. Research any concerns and see what kind of rules or ideas will work for your family. Start talking to them about it now so that by next week, they will be pros in the safety department; they might even be able to teach their friends a few things!
Even though it’s next week, have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!